THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2015
LOOK AT JESUS, LOOK TO THE POOR - 5
Today’s reading: Tobit 12:1-20
“Prayer with fasting is good. Almsgiving with righteousness
is better” (v.8a). We look at Jesus as we engage in
prayer, with the fruit of ongoing prayer a life of righteousness.
But we also look to the poor and give alms. Giving alms is
not just doling out petty amounts to beggars, but indicates
a wider work with the poor.
and social. Holiness and justice. Salvation and liberation.
Two aspects of the Christian life that always go together.
Such is the key to living a life under the protection and
care of God. “Do good, and evil will not overtake you.”
good Christian is one who helps the poor. On the other hand,
work with the poor helps one to become a better Christian,
to become holier, as “almsgiving .... purges all sin.”
(v.9a). Further, work with the poor, in Tobit’s case
burying the dead, helps bring our prayers to God. By special
messenger, as in the archangel Raphael. “Now when you,
Tobit, and Sarah prayed it was I who presented the record
of your prayer before the Glory of the Lord; and likewise
whenever you used to bury the dead.” (v.12).
work with the poor indicates our readiness to enter more deeply
into our life in Christ. And so God might allow hardships
and challenges and suffering into our lives to test us. “When
you did not hesitate to get up and leave your dinner in order
to go and bury that dead man, I was sent to put you to the
test” (v.13-14a). Suffering purifies. Hardships draw
us closer to God. The cross hones our faith to perfection.
the same time, God will always be there for us. We may be
given special attention by having an archangel assigned to
us. But however things are, in God’s time His help will
come. “At the same time, however, God sent me to heal
you and your daughter-in-law Sarah.” (v.14b).
at Jesus, look to the poor. Spiritual and social. It will
be difficult. There will be oppression and even persecution.
But God will always be there for us. “Do not fear; peace
be with you! Bless God now and forever.” (v.17).